We had the good fortune of connecting with Renee Waniolek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Renee, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting my own business was a fear!!! I was born loving clothes, being creative and artistic – but the main goal in my life was to one day have my own store because that would offer me everything I was good at. I could thrive! I always knew exactly what I needed to do but FEAR was the only thing that held me back. The same thoughts would pass through my mind – how much money would I need to start this, what if I failed, what do I exactly start off selling, do I even have the time for all this and the list goes on… It was not until COVID came and the world came to a halt, that I really put my time into this. I would have conversations with my sister Sheri about starting this up and funny enough she pushed me to really put my ideas into action. We decided to do this together and she brings her skills to the table and so do I.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Before I came to LA – all of my jobs were customer service. I worked at a bar, McDonalds, Banana Republic, Disney World. Customer service skills were imbedded in me. But Banana Republic taught me about retail and branding. When I came to LA I went to fashion school at FIDM in downtown. I worked side jobs in fashion but my first job was for a local fashion designer. I worked almost 10 years at her boutiques throughout LA. I owe that store ( Veronica M) everything. Although I brought my skills from Banana Republic – this store taught me how to buy and price properly, display everything and anything and just run a boutique! I have now been working in the entertainment field for the last 7 years. I do quite a few different things but everything I do helps with where I am right at this moment. – I think people are really going to love our store. I thinking that they can identify with our love for traveling, being career woman and just enjoying life. We are literally hand picking out each piece to meet our brand style and who we think our customers will be. I think that my sister will agree with me when I say that we want our customers to grow with us on our journey online and eventually when we set up roots somewhere.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If you ask any of my friends, they will tell you that I have been to pretty much every neighborhood in LA and outside of it. So if my best friend from out of state were to come to Los Angeles I would definitely take her to all of the tourist spots. Hollywood walk of fame, downtown to shop in the alley, we would hit up a few beach towns. If this was a COVID free time, I would take her to one of my favorite places to eat… ( Catch, Tao, Katana) because you have to hit one of the trendy spots and then I would probably take her to the Dime on Fairfax for a chill night to have some drinks and listen to really good music. I mean… there are so many things to do here in LA my list would go on forever LOL.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For the sake of this interview, I would like to give a shoutout to my sister and co owner Sheri Angeles! She always has my back and pushes me to be better. I love the fact that as we have gotten older our friendship has grown and I can appreciate the fact that she always knows what she wants and she goes for it! She also is a photographer and has her own business doing weddings and she is making her way through the fashion industry. She is wayyy more grounded than, I am more of the dreamer… and that is why she was the perfect person to kick me into gear at just the right time!
Website: www.eastandeighties.com – ** COMING SOON**
Adrian Angeles / Sheri Angeles